The Mexican national football team was confident to snatch a 1-0 win over reigning world champions Germany in a tense opening Group F match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Sunday night in Moscow.
Both teams played previously at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia, where the Germans stunned Team Mexico 4-1 in the semifinal match of the tournament, which comes a year before the world’s main quadrennial football championship.
The match at the legendary 80,000-seat capacity Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow was attended by over 78,000 people on Sunday night with an almost equal number of football fans at the stands from Germany and Mexico, mixed with numerous football fans, who sported bright yellow colors of the Brazilian national team.
The game blasted off with two rapid offensives by the Mexican squad on the goal of the reigning world champions in the opening minutes of the match.
The German team seemed to be rattled by the energy of their opponents as restless Mexican players continued delivering attacks on the goal, guarded by German team’s captain Manuel Neuer.
Mexico’s frantic energy yielded a positive result on the 35th minute of the match after 22-year-old striker Hirving Lazano rushed on the left, paused for a brief cutback and then fired a shot into the German net placing his team in 1-0 lead over the opponents.
The Mexican side kept pressing the Germans throughout the first half, but the score of 1-0 did not change until both sides retreated for the break.
World’s reigning champions came appeared refreshed after the break and took an initiative on the offense early in the second half, but the Mexican side stood solid as a concrete wall with their goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa in the lead.
Closing 15 minutes of the second half saw an array of yellow cards, with two handed out to German players and one flashed for a Mexican player.
Although the German squad increased the pressure on their opponents in the closing minutes of the game, the score of 1-0 was never altered until the final whistle in the match.
Team Mexico is playing its next Group F match against South Korea on June 23 in the city of Rostov-on-Don, while Germany is set to face on the same date the national squad from Sweden at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi.
A total of 32 national football teams are participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup held in 11 cities across Russia between June 14 and July 15.
The teams were divided into eight groups, with four in each, and the top two from their relevant groups will proceed to the next round, known as the playoffs or the knockout stage, to keep vying for the much-coveted FIFA World Cup Trophy.
Russia is holding its first time ever edition of the FIFA World Cup, which kicked off in Moscow with a spectacular opening show at the Luzhniki Stadium on the night of June 14.
The country selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.